Govt trying to 'derail' debates in Par on major issues: Left

Govt trying to 'derail' debates in Par on major issues: Left

"There is no point in having a debate on FDI in retail when a decision has already been taken. So, the government should rescind the decision and then hold a discussion on it.

"If it does not, then it is clear that the government does not want Parliament to function when there are important issues like price rise, corruption and the Lokpal Bill to be debated," senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters at a joint press conference with his counterparts from CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc.

Maintaining that an executive decision on a "major policy matter" like FDI in the retail sector has never been taken in the past when Parliament was in session, he said, "They have not only bypassed Parliament, but it is a big provocation to make Parliament impotent."

Yechury said the onus of disrupting the session lies squarely on the government. "We hold the government responsible for this. When they have to take the sense of the House, they are pushing out big advertisements in newspapers justifying the (FDI) move."

Asked why they were not moving a no-confidence motion against the government, he said, "We will take a decision when such a situation arises. Our demand now is that the government rescind its decision. If it does not, then we will see what to do."

Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) wanted to know how the decision on allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail was taken when an Inter-Ministerial Committee on the issue had not given any recommendation, as per a statement made by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the House in March this year.

Barun Mukherjee (Forward Bloc) and Prashanta Majumdar (RSP) also demanded a rollback of the decision saying it had "provoked protest and anger all across the country" as the decision would lead to unemployment and add to farmers' distress, among other things.

Yechury said the issue of allowing FDI in retail has been discussed for several years, but the matter was "put in the cold storage" in 2004 when the Left was supporting UPA-I from outside.

"But now, suddenly, when Parliament session is on and there is already a logjam over price rise and black money, what was the hurry? The (FDI) decision provoked the entire opposition and it seems the government wanted to make this session non-functional," the CPI(M) leader said.

Asserting that Left parties would not take part in any discussion on the statement of the Finance Minister laid in Parliament last week, he blamed the government for "hiding the real reason" behind the decision to open up the retail sector to FDI.

Dasgupta accused the government of not carrying out any due diligence before taking the decision, saying the Finance Minister had in March told Parliament that the inter-ministerial committee had not recommended anything on the FDI issue as "most of the respondents (consulted by it) had given a negative feedback".

"National interests are being betrayed to serve American interests," the CPI leader alleged.